TRAVELLING

When should I claim Social Security? How do I downsize? Can I travel? 7 retirement lessons to help you retire right

The closer it gets, the more attention I pay.

“It,” in this case, is retirement. In January, I’ll celebrate my 60th birthday. I have no intention of fully retiring, but I am thinking about how to work less, travel more and prep my finances for the years ahead. As I sketch out my plans, I’m drawing not only on a lifetime of writing and thinking about personal finance, but also on an even more valuable resource: you.

I never intended for HumbleDollar to be so heavily focused on retirement—but, then again, I didn’t start the site with any great, overarching plan. Still, the fact is, many of the site’s writers and readers are retired or close to it, and that’s reflected in the articles we publish and the comments that readers post. I’ve learned so much from both. In particular, here are seven lessons I’m taking to heart:

1. Travel early in retirement. Got foreign lands you want to see? Don’t delay. That’s a theme Rick Connor recently touched upon.

There’s a moment—probably in our 70s—when international travel will simply seem too arduous. On top of that, the risk grows that we may have a medical issue that either derails our plans or necessitates getting medical help abroad.

I’ve never bought trip-cancellation insurance. But once you’re in your 70s, it seems like a smart move. Ditto for international travel health insurance. As we get older, that can become fairly expensive. The upshot: Before our 70s are done, we might find we’re less inclined to head abroad and instead our travel focus may turn to trips within the U.S.

Read: Planning a big trip? How to make sense of travel insurance.

2. Plan for long-term care (LTC), but don’t necessarily buy traditional LTC insurance. James McGlynn has written about his preference

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